There’s no doubt that Connecticut offers many of the most scenic country roads and thriving metropolitan areas in the nation. However, along with the state’s vibrant attractions comes an aging infrastructure, traffic, and inexperienced tourists on the roads. Also, several organizations have ranked Connecticut as having several of the most dangerous roads in the U.S. These all contribute to the state’s high rate of traffic and pedestrian accidents.
The Connecticut Crash Data Repository run by the University of Connecticut reported that 303 people lost their lives on Connecticut highways in 2018. This is the highest number in years.
At The Flood Law Firm, we know firsthand that most roadway accidents could have been prevented. If you’ve been in an accident that is no fault of your own, please contact our office at (877) 987-9529 to speak to one of our experienced accident attorneys.
All calls are free, without obligation and completely confidential. We are here to help.
One of the most prevalent problems commuters face in Connecticut today is treacherous roadways. Many of the state’s most popular highways are deteriorated or designed so poorly that drivers have to slow, stop, or maneuver to avoid hitting other vehicles. This causes a chain reaction, immediately raising the threat of accidents, especially at high speeds. Drivers often slam on their brakes or swerve onto the shoulder to avoid rear-ending a car.
To make matters worse, Connecticut’s harsh winter weather increases the chance of hazardous sliding when drivers are forced to brake quickly. Add an inattentive driver or heavy truck to the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Unsafe roads are dispersed throughout the state in different capacities:
Heavily traveled highways, such as Interstate-95, are especially problematic. Excessive exits (many of these less than a mile apart), potholes, crevices, and high traffic compound the danger. In fact, I-95 is so dangerous that it has recently become a national statistic.
A National Highway Safety Administration study based on “the most dangerous highways in America” named I-95 the most dangerous highway in Connecticut. It was also rated the 19th most dangerous highway in America. The study showed that I-95 alone had 147 crashes and 164 fatalities in the past ten years.
Many Connecticut intersections have notorious reputations. For instance, Route 17 at Main Street Extension and Route 9 Interchange in Middletown is well-known for its exceedingly high rate of accidents. The ramp is known as a “prolific source of fender benders” due to its poor design, but funding restraints have stalled a total revamp.
A five-year study showed the following intersections to be the most dangerous:
Middletown, Route 17 at Main St. Extension and Route 9 Interchange
Hartford, Route 44 at Market St. E & W Junction #1
|204||Angle (26%); Turning/same direction (25%)||29%|
Seymour, Route 8 Between Route 67 & Route 67 Interchange
|377||Fixed object (62%)||31%|
Waterbury, Route 66 between Lakewood Rd. and Shopping Center
|337||Rear-end (41%); Turning/opposite direction (26%)||29%|
Wethersfield, Route 287 at Thornbush Rd.
|39||Rear-end (38%); Turning/intersecting paths (26%)||44%|
Vernon, Route 83 Between I-84 Ramp 253 & Ramp 253 B
|161||Turning/intersecting paths (55%); Rear-end (34%)||30%|
Wallingford, Route 5 at SR 702, Wharton Brook and Toelles Rd.
|124||Turning/opposite direction (58%)||44%|
Bridgeport, Route 127 at Barnum Avenue
|82||Rear-end (34%); Angle or side impact (32%)||43%|
New Haven, Route 15 at Route 69-Whalley Avenue
Bridgeport, Route 127 at Stillman Street
|49||Angle or side impact (55%)||45%|
|Location||Middletown, Route 17 at Main St. Extension and Route 9 Interchange|
|Common causes||Rear-end (99%)|
|Location||Hartford, Route 44 at Market St. E & W Junction #1|
|Common causes||Angle (26%); Turning/same direction (25%)|
|Location||Seymour, Route 8 Between Route 67 & Route 67 Interchange|
|Common causes||Fixed object (62%)|
|Location||Waterbury, Route 66 between Lakewood Rd. and Shopping Center|
|Common causes||Rear-end (41%); Turning/opposite direction (26%)|
|Location||Wethersfield, Route 287 at Thornbush Rd.|
|Common causes||Rear-end (38%); Turning/intersecting paths (26%)|
|Location||Vernon, Route 83 Between I-84 Ramp 253 & Ramp 253 B|
|Common causes||Turning/intersecting paths (55%); Rear-end (34%)|
|Location||Wallingford, Route 5 at SR 702, Wharton Brook and Toelles Rd.|
|Common causes||Turning/opposite direction (58%)|
|Location||Bridgeport, Route 127 at Barnum Avenue|
|Common causes||Rear-end (34%); Angle or side impact (32%)|
|Location||New Haven, Route 15 at Route 69-Whalley Avenue|
|Common causes||Rear-end (96%)|
|Location||Bridgeport, Route 127 at Stillman Street|
|Common causes||Angle or side impact (55%)|
It might be easy to think a back road is safer than a busy one; however, this isn’t necessarily the case in Connecticut. Many of Connecticut’s roads are over 300 years old. Once perfectly suited for horses and buggies, these old roads are unfitting for many vehicles, agile motorcycles, and bicycles.
Those who drive on Connecticut’s back roads — especially unfamiliar tourists visiting here to see the fall foliage — must maintain focus at all times. Rural roads are famous for narrow lanes, limited shoulders, sharp curves, pavement drop-offs and steep slopes, blind corners, and other disruptions.
Dangerous Connecticut back roads include:
People behind the wheel aren’t the only ones who need to exercise extreme caution on Connecticut roads. Certain routes have proven unsafe for foot traffic due to distracted drivers and a lack of safe walkways and crosswalks.
In just a two year period, ten pedestrians were struck and killed by cars on busy US-1 between 2012 and 2014. In a Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a road safety group said that’s the most pedestrian deaths on any road in the state. SR-10 is not much better, with five pedestrian fatalities to its name in the same stretch of time.
Major interstates flank both roads — I-95 is adjacent to Route 1, while Route 10 has junctions with 95, 84, and 691. These interstates have several exits feeding onto smaller roads. Cars merging from the highway have barely transitioned to a slower speed when they enter these smaller roads, and too often, pedestrians have paid the price.
A 2016 study by the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center also showed that more than 70 pedestrian-involved crashes occurred along a specific 120-mile stretch of Route 1. Five of the crashes resulted in fatalities.
Many of Connecticut’s most dangerous roads weave through our neighborhood’s surrounding schools and put little ones at risk. Families living near these roads should be especially aware when walking children to school.
Here are a few tips to help ensure your children get to school safely:
At The Flood Law Firm, our attorneys work tirelessly on behalf of our clients, whose cases often involve poor Connecticut road conditions, negligent drivers, or both.
We’ve represented hundreds of clients who have been in collisions resulting from unsafe roads or conditions, including:
If you or a loved one has been hurt or seriously injured in an accident, we offer our sincere condolences during this difficult time. We are also here to help in your recovery.
Our team has more than 30 years of combined experience handling injury cases under Connecticut laws. If the careless acts of another party caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.